Creating a Common Data Model for Comparative Effectiveness with the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership

Appl Clin Inform. 2015 Aug 26;6(3):536-47. doi: 10.4338/ACI-2014-12-CR-0121. eCollection 2015.


Background: Adoption of a common data model across health systems is a key infrastructure requirement to allow large scale distributed comparative effectiveness analyses. There are a growing number of common data models (CDM), such as Mini-Sentinel, and the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) CDMs.

Objectives: In this case study, we describe the challenges and opportunities of a study specific use of the OMOP CDM by two health systems and describe three comparative effectiveness use cases developed from the CDM.

Methods: The project transformed two health system databases (using crosswalks provided) into the OMOP CDM. Cohorts were developed from the transformed CDMs for three comparative effectiveness use case examples. Administrative/billing, demographic, order history, medication, and laboratory were included in the CDM transformation and cohort development rules.

Results: Record counts per person month are presented for the eligible cohorts, highlighting differences between the civilian and federal datasets, e.g. the federal data set had more outpatient visits per person month (6.44 vs. 2.05 per person month). The count of medications per person month reflected the fact that one system's medications were extracted from orders while the other system had pharmacy fills and medication administration records. The federal system also had a higher prevalence of the conditions in all three use cases. Both systems required manual coding of some types of data to convert to the CDM.

Conclusions: The data transformation to the CDM was time consuming and resources required were substantial, beyond requirements for collecting native source data. The need to manually code subsets of data limited the conversion. However, once the native data was converted to the CDM, both systems were then able to use the same queries to identify cohorts. Thus, the CDM minimized the effort to develop cohorts and analyze the results across the sites.

Keywords: Common data model; big data; comparative effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Common Data Elements*
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*